‘I’ll pay for both of us’ – Cachalia challenges Steenhuisen to Gaza trip for reality check
Cachalia quit the DA, citing a growing dysfunctional, undemocratic and authoritarian tendency in the party over his comments on Israel’s war in Gaza.
Former DA MP Ghaleb Cachalia and DA leader John Steenuisen. Photo: Pic Collage.
As Israel continues its relentless bombings of the Gaza strip, former Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Ghaleb Cachalia has called on party leader John Steenhuisen to witness the devastation in the enclave for himself.
Cachalia quit the DA last week, citing a growing dysfunctional, undemocratic and authoritarian tendency in the party, along with a clash with the leadership over his comments on Israel’s war in Gaza.
Go to Gaza
“The leadership of the DA has become increasingly uncomfortable with my public utterances over the past few months. This mainly concerns issues around the war on Gaza. As a consequence, I have been fired from my position in the shadow cabinet – notwithstanding any connection between my erstwhile portfolio and the events referred to,” Cachalia said.
With the death toll in Gaza surpassing 25,000 and another 62,681 wounded, most of them women and children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Cachalia has called on DA leader Steenhuisen to see the Gaza tragedy for himself.
“Dear John Steenhuisen, I’ll pay for both of us to go to Gaza. You arrange the visas and access. You went to Ukraine to see for yourself; come let’s go – we may even mend some fences. Hell, we’ll certainly learn a lot.”
Dear John Steenhuisen, I’ll pay for both of us to go to Gaza. You arrange the visas and access.— ghaleb cachalia. (@GhalebCachalia) January 21, 2024
You went to Ukraine to see for yourself; come let’s go – we may even mend some fences. Hell, we’ll certainly learn a lot.
Steenhuisen in Ukraine
Steenhuisen visited Ukraine in 2022 to embark on what he called “a six-day tour” of the war-ravaged country.
The DA leader said his visit was to ascertain “for myself the situation in a country that has been under siege from the Russian army.”
I have today arrived in the city of Lviv in Western Ukraine from where I will embark on a six-day tour of various parts of Ukraine – mostly around the capital, Kiev – to ascertain for myself the situation in a country that has been under siege from the Russian army. pic.twitter.com/RvTDtyaeAK— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) May 1, 2022
Tensions had been simmering between Cachalia and the DA leadership after he tweeted his position on the war between Israel and Palestine.
The DA has always maintained its belief in a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Earlier this month, South Africa hauled Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on a charge of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.
During its oral arguments at the Peace Palace in The Hague, South Africa’s top legal minds argued that there is an urgent need for the World Court to grant it provisional measures that will protect the lives of Palestinians in Gaza.
Israel argued the claims were baseless, and that South Africa tailored the Gaza genocide story to pre-existing narratives.
The ICJ said an order would be made in a public sitting on a date that will be communicated in due course as hundreds of thousands of people continue to take to the streets across the world to protest against the war in Gaza.